We had the good fortune of connecting with J. Goods and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi J., what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I think I was convinced to start working for myself after working for other people for so long because I wanted flexibility to enjoy doing what I really want to be doing. I wanted the freedom to be mobile and to be able to support myself while having adventures on the road. Music is just one of my hustles. I also do pet portraits and odd jobs since gigs aren’t always steady. It can be a very unpredictable and spontaneous job, playing music. It is also extremely rewarding and fun. Ultimately though, working for myself allows me the ability to say yes and no whenever I want to. I have more freedom and can follow my gut instincts. It’s been a great decision.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It was not easy. I’ve worked through a ton of anxiety. When I started I just picked up a guitar and said “I’m doing it” when I was 24. I’d sang in choir and school when I was younger but I didn’t think I could go anywhere with it when I was a kid. I do remember being a kid and dreaming of being a drummer in a rock band. I think I felt like I didn’t have the community of weirdos I needed. My grandfather was an opera singer but he died before I knew him. Then my uncle was a drummer but he disappeared for 10 years. I finally met him in my 20’s. So I didn’t feel to have immediate musical influence from people who actually lived it while I was grow9ng up. I took piano and flute lessons. I only remember really liking one instructor I had. Teachers influence so much of a kid’s interest in the topic. I think the most destructive thing has just been people totally shutting down my musical interest, when I was younger and uncomfortable even saying it was something I wanted to do. I’ve had people tell me they hate my voice. A few times. I didnt always have confidence in my singing so hearing that when you’re just expressing how you are interested in exploring music and then someone saying “I’ve heard you sing. Your voice is terrible,” can make it hard to get yourself to a point where you would even think of singing on a stage. I remember my uncle when I was a kid saying I could be the singer of a rock band, then my dad laughing and saying “I dont think so.” I was probably 13 or something. In that situation, I think I just wanted my dad to say that he believed I could do it. I remember it making me really sad my perception being that he didnt believe I could. Ultimately, I have the decision whether or not to listen to those voices. One guy told me he liked my music but his brother really hated my voice. I said “that’s fine. Not everyone is gonna like my voice.” He apologized profusely, then bought me a beer. It felt good. Not caring about someone’s entitled opinion when you didnt even ask. I’m not about to stop because some people dont like my music. It’s too much fun! It’s important to realize how subjective art is. If you’re groovin to your music, then chances are someone else will be too. My dad has told me a lot of helpful things as well. “Not everyone will like you, and it’s ok.” “You can’t always control how you feel, but you can control what you do about it.” Real life. Own yourself and your art, with the ability to receive criticism. You can agree or disagree with the critique, make a change or not. It’s up to you. People are gonna critique your stuff no matter what, sometimes inappropriately. It’s just something you gotta deal with. You have control over how you react. I think what I want everyone to know is that it’s never too late to become creative, that familial support is important, that community is important, that the community is also out there if you havent found it yet, and that you have the choice of whether to keep going or give up.

Since I’ve started doing music in this way my family is very supportive of me. They come to my shows and show my music to their friends.

To everyone else, if your 13 year old expresses interest in being a musician, I would encourage it. Even if it’s not something that turns to a career, it’s something where you can connect with people who dont speak your first language, something where you can express yourself in a way that’s not self destructive, and something to keep you sane. It’s magic, and I wish for everyone to be able to feel it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I can send you to open mics in Summit County 🙂

Prost – Tuesdays at 7
RMU – Wednesdays at 7
Moose Jaw – thursdays (I think?)

Live music –
Go see Frisco Funk Collective
Go see Beau Thomas Band
Go see Satellite 13
Go see High 5

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are definitely a lot of influences in different ways. The city of New Orleans as a whole has been a huge influence. The culture there is so wild and exciting, always celebrating and creating. It’s inspired me to create my own adventure and to wear crazy costumes on stage. To collaborate with other musicians and just to show up. I wasnt the most confident when I started actually pursuing music. A big start was actually living I’m Summit County. I did a show singing for Frisco Funk Collective in 2016 when a guy heard me singing and eating mac’n’cheese at a restaurant. It was something I’d always wanted to do, but I didnt play an instrument. So, thank you to FFC for getting me up on stage and being my first show ever singing with a band. Thanks Beau Thomas for putting a guitar in my hands and having me play House of the Rising Sun for people who wanted more music after open mic, when I was terrified to play in front of people. Thanks to my family for knowing my eccentric artist side and loving me for being that way. Thanks Black Water Railroad for encouraging me to play in Alaska. Thank you to Daniel Barker for giving me the funds to get my first amp. Thank you Michael Anding for fixing my car and Sasanna Babashoff for feeding me and supporting me with your backyard shows. Thank you Olivya Lee for inspiring me to focus, for always telling me I can do better than my beliefs have lead me to think, and for motivating the people around you through your hard work and determination. I’m sure there are many more… but this would go on forever. You know who you are!

Instagram: @the_j.goods_experience

Facebook: The J. Goods Experience

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCZBTttU0LwG9__Oi-WE6DTA

Image Credits
Kevin courtney @ Footes Rest Tyler Easton @ Windy Point Carlos Fundora @ Hi Ho, NOLA Lindsey Shephard @ Lafitte State Park

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